Posts Tagged ‘immigration’

And dual citizenship sucks, innit.

June 10, 2009

Erk.

My mother is very, very excited about us coming for Christmas. She is planning a big baby party for the whole family to meet the twins.

But – I’ve just found out that to enter into that country, the babies MUST have a passport from that country or they will be refused entry (because they have a claim to citizenship via myself). I am a wee bit stressed (ie breathless with worry!) about the short time scale we have to do everything.

Going to write the order of things I think needs to happen here to get it out of my head.

1. Register the birth of the babies. Get a short form birth certificate same day – but we have to register in the city where they are born, which is NOT the city we live in.

1.5 We also need to get TMD legal responsibilities – don’t know if this can happen when we register the births, or what. Also not sure where this needs to happen or on what form. I think I have the right form, but it only refers to ‘mother’ and ‘father’ so I find that confusing.

2. Get long form birth certificates for the babies. Am googling like mad but can’t actually figure out how that happens.

2.5 Get together all the paperwork to prove my citizenship (need to see that my passport is still fucking valid. I think it is), complete two application forms for citizenship, complete two applications for passports, figure out where the fuck to get baby photos that will be accepted by that country for the passports, somehow get proof that I have lived in Country A in the past – ie aquiring old school records. WTF. Pay an outrageous amount of money.

3. Go to the (Country A) consulate to register the births of citizens abroad, aquire citizenship for babies (and get same day certificates), apply for a certain identity number every citizen needs, and apply for passports.

Concurrently, we will also be applying for their passports of THIS country. I don’t actually know how to do that, unless it’s on the same form I just used, which would be handy. Unfortunately I think all the birth certificates will also be needed for this process. Therefore if anyone knows what country I live in and how the fuck to get long form certificates, perhaps you will be kind enough to tell me if I can also pay extra (money greases wheels?) to get duplicate copies at the same time we get the originals.

I am sure a few months is long enough for this to happen, but we will need the ‘foreign’ passports of the country where Mom lives in order to purchase plane tickets – I think. I hope all this doesn’t fuck up Christmas, and in a way I wish we didn’t have all this running back and forth to do. It’ll all have to be in the first month when TMD is at home.

Just what you want to do with two newborn babies – troop all over the fucking country and attend official interviews when they need to be eating every few hours. Courtesy of my boobs. Both at the same time. This is, of course, assuming that long form birth certificates don’t take weeks and weeks to arrive, which I think I have heard happens. Then TMD would have to take extra time to take us into The City to do all the consular stuff. (Let’s forget the nightmare that is public transport at this point, okay?)

Since moving to this country, I have wondered when all the legal shit and immigration nonsense will end. I guess in terms of myself it is finally sorted out as of today, but I won’t feel like it is REALLY okay until both babies have both passports – hopefully with oodles of time to spare before Christmas.

Question for parents of babies who also travel abroad (you know, like many baby mommas want to be jetting around the fucking world) – can you somehow get the children listed on your passport, therefore negating their need for a passport? Just a question.

——————

OH MY FUCKING GOD.

Just read the ‘additional requirements’ if you are applying for passports of Country A  for children under 16. Both parents have to be present, or the absent parent MUST fill in some fucking form giving consent. Handily, this country does NOT recognize same sex partnerships, civil unions, or same sex marriage.

Christ McJesus. Going to keep reading.

Ok. Apparently if I have sole responsibility (which will not be the case, as TMD will be legally responsible at that point – though NOT recognised by this fucking country) I can apply. But you know what? I also need to provide my original birth certificate and all sorts of other shit.

This is about six thousand times more complicated than any other immigration hoops I have jumped through thus far. Fucking poopheads.

———————

OH MY FUCKING GOD PART TWO. Just thought of something. At some point in this process TMD’s name will no doubt be entered into the scary database and connected with my own, which could cause her problems entering the country Mom lives in.

——————-

Another interesting postscript:

If we had conceived four months later than we did, both of us would be able to be listed on the birth certificates as parents and TMD would have full legal rights and responsibilities from day one. I reckon this would complicate shit with Country A something chronic, but then we wouldn’t have to have all these forms after they are born, worrying about the wills now, and then going through the whole adoption process from next February.

Man, this shit is fucked up.

Advertisements

Dual citizenship is fucking cool, though, innit.

June 10, 2009

I was born in Country A. I lived there until I was 22, at which point I moved to Country B. TMD was born in Country B. She came over to A every summer to work at the same place I did, and she absolutely loves that country. Our plan was always to return there.

In 2001 she was studying for a degree, so I came over to study for two years to do my MA while she finished up her studies. As things turned out, we ended up living here for the long term. You see, Country B allows me to live here as TMD’s partner. Country A can bar TMD entry simply because we are a lesbian couple. (This terrifies me in terms of how things are going to work travelling there for Christmas next year, as with two infants we will obviously need to be together. I am okay with keeping my mouth shut, but I am NOT okay with lying about my marriage. That is, perhaps, another topic.)

At any rate, I lived here for two years as a student. Then a little bit as an overstayer – someone who no longer has a legal right to be in the country. This is because we planned to be going back to Country A….and that didn’t work out. Aaaaaaaanyway, we then had to leave and go to Country A to apply for a spousal visa for me, as I was told by our lawyer that I could be deported if I attempted to change my status while still over here as I had no legal rights.

So. A further two years on that visa, and then I applied for indefinite leave to remain. This allows me to live in Country B all the livelong day, but with some essential rights granted to citizens not being given to me. Because we were legally married, I was entitled to apply for citizenship after about a year, but didn’t get around to it until last year. I got my citizenship (while still retaining citizenship of Country A – I feel very strongly I do NOT want to give up that citizenship, despite the terrifying homophobia present in every level of that particular country), and didn’t bother to apply for a passport until very recently.

Until we thought about the babies getting passports and travelling home for Christmas, anyway. So I applied about a month ago for my passport. In this country, anyone over the age of 16 applying for their first passport has to have an interview to prove that they are who they say they are.

We went in for the interview last Friday. And FUCK if I didn’t mess up every question – couldn’t remember any previous flat addresses (but instead of saying, ‘I don’t know,’ I confidently gave the incorrect address over and over again), messed up my dad’s birthday and place of birth, and couldn’t remember when I became a citizen of this country. I came home and the hormones began to pump, and I cried for about three hours about the fact that I had ‘failed the test’ – essentially failed at being me.

Well, today my passport came in the mail. So at least I know I can successfully impersonate myself.

It feels WEIRD to have a different coloured passport. A passport that looks so different to ‘my’ passport, the slightly battered little book that has brought me to and from TMD, my family, my friends for the past nine years. Spooky. I have put it back in its little envelope and left it on the table.

I don’t know the person who owns a new, never-before used passport in that colour. And no, it’s not just the horrific picture of me where I look sort of like that humped over guy from Notre Dame.

Obama!

November 5, 2008

It feels like a holiday.

On the train to work this morning, a woman with a heavy Ghanian accent was talking with a white Swiss lady.  The Ghanian lady said, ‘My sister, if you asked her who the prime minister was, she’d have to stop and think.  But can you believe, she texted me at 5 am this morning to say that Obama had won!’

The white lady said, ‘That is amazing, all these people getting involved.’  She paused, then grabbed the black lady’s hands and squealed, ‘This is so exciting!’

I looked at the black lady, locked eyes with her, and we both beamed at each other.

Walking to work, a group of three very loud men were clutching newspapers and chatting.  One said, ‘What a day for America, for everybody.  The world is a safer place now. The world is a safer place.’

I keep smiling and smiling, feeling a pride in a country I’ve long felt very cynical about – not just a country, but my country. At 6 am this morning as we were watching the celebrations for Obama’s victory, I turned to TMD and said, ‘You know, maybe there’s a chance of us moving there now.’

And for the first time since I’ve moved abroad, I could realistically wonder when/if federal law would allow gay marriage – and recognise people who’d been married elsewhere. If this happens, suddenly the world opens back up to us.

Congratulations to everyone who voted for this incredible, idealistic man – this black man. What a fucking fantastic day.

I also ate wild blackberries this morning.

July 30, 2008

My mother is very excited about the fact that I might Move Back Home One Day, and I think my sister has gotten into it as well. All of this from an innocent  email wondering if my qualifcations are transferrable to that country, which stemmed from the idea that I definitely want to do more training in a couple of years. While waiting for the train this morning, I thought about these two places. Past Country and Present Country, with no clear winner of which would win the title of Future Country, if either.

It occured to me that I have never been a real grown up in Past Country. In this place I live now, I’ve had actual adult jobs, completed two postgraduate courses, bought a house, bought a car, lived a grown-up life with my grown-up wife, etc. What do I really know about Past Country? I’m not even totally clear on the types of jobs availble for working with young people, for example (excluding the obvious ones). TMD has said she would move back into the camping field should we move there, and this morning I was thinking – is it possible for me to be happy if she works in that type of job?

And that’s even if a camp is happy to take on not just the suberbly qualified TMD, but also her lesbian partner and their children. It’s been a long time since I’ve faced the type of discrimination that is inherent in Past Country. The sort that is so thick and murky fingers reach into every area of your life. Would I want to live in that environment? Raise my children there?

The simple fact is, I think I am more comfortable in Present Country. While it was a huge culture shock to move here originally, and I faced feeling really low for the first couple of years, now I have grown up and into this place. This doesn’t mean I don’t want to live in Past Country. In all sorts of fantastical fantasy ways I would prefer it, hands-down. But is it possible? I don’t know.

All of this is completely arbitrary discussion anyway, as we would not move there until there was a national policy on immigration with regards to same-sex marriage. But the way things are going, that could either be much sooner than we ever predicted – or decades away. I’m not sure. Those of you living in a country where gay marriage is not legal and therefore immigration is a bitch, what is the vibe?